Touring for 20 straight years

By Geoff Lee

October 4, 2016 12:00 AM

THE EAGLE LANDS IN LLOYD The iconic Canadian roots-rock troubadour, Fred Eaglesmith, is coming to The Root for a Wednesday night performance with his partner, Tif Ginn. The show will include many of his blue collar songs and hits from his acclaimed Tambourine album.

And Fred Eaglesmith is not slowing down

Fred Eaglesmith is a Canadian music man in motion.
The 59-year-old troubadour has, by his own admission, been on perpetual tour since 1996.
The southern Ontario native plays more than 300 shows worldwide each year, delivering a trademark style that draws from folk, country, rock, gospel, old-time music, bluegrass and spoken word
His latest tour will bring him to Lloydminster for a performance at The Root Wednesday night.
He’ll hit the stage with his wife, Tif Ginn, who is an amazing singer and musician in her own right.
“We are bringing a little band with us—we’ve got a band coming from Alberta that are going to play,” said Eaglesmith, in a phone interview from Grand Forks B.C.
Eaglesmith won’t be playing songs from his most recent album, Tambourine, released in 2013, until more time goes by.
“I don’t play my latest record, I play the old stuff,” he said.
“That’s the stuff they want to hear—I wait until the new record becomes old and then I play it.”
He said that with a laugh promising his trademark sense of humour will be part of the show at The Root.
“It’s a show; it’s not just music,” said Eaglesmith to set up the audience expectations.
“It’s got comedy in it; it’s fun and it’s entertaining and it’s much more like an old school variety show than it is just a music show.”
He’ll be backed up by Ginn’s strong vocals and guitar.
Some of the old stuff that he’ll play include hits like I Like Trains, Wilder Than Her, Trucker Speed, Thirty Years of Farming, and I Shot Your Dog.
Eaglesmith’s songs about trains, trucks and ordinary people suggest Eaglesmith is a blue collar guy but he doesn’t fully buy into that.
“I just like to sing about how people live,” he said.
“I just play my music just drive around the world playing my music and nobody pegs my audience and nobody pegs me.”
Eaglesmith couldn’t put his finger on what the most popular song is for his fans with more than 40 years of recording, and touring behind him.
However, he did say a former university study concluded there’s 27 of them.
“Nobody had a favourite song—there’s 27 favourite songs so it’s wherever the guy is and where he comes from and what crop he’s harvesting—that’s his favourite song,” he said with a chuckle.
When informed the harvest in Lloydminster will be going on when he comes to town, Eaglesmith quipped, “Those guys will be tired, so I’ll have to play them songs to keep them awake.”
Eaglesmith will be heading our way from Winnipeg behind the wheel of his latest converted Bluebird school bus, his third such bus.
“I had a red one and I had a white one and this one here is a white one too,” he said.
Eaglesmith once changed his own blown bus transmission on the side of a highway in rural Alberta without missing one gig.
“I’m a mechanic that plays music sometimes,” he joked.
He said he learned those skills on the side of the road during a lifetime of touring.
Asked what he’d most likely be given for another life, he said a Buddhist monk, just so he could sit down for awhile.
Somewhere he sat down long enough to record songs for a new album called Standard that’s coming out in January.
“It’s a little different record musically, but it’s a lot about machinery and obsession and people’s love for things,” said Eaglesmith.
“It’s a good album for me in my life right now.”

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